Securitization Group Takes First Public Action Since Defections

The American Securitization Forum, the trade group thrown into turmoil this month after most of its board quit in a dispute with its executive director, took its first public action since the defections, sending a comment letter to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

The 24-page letter was sent today to the international regulatory group as it considers revising its framework for bank capital requirements tied to securities backed by loans and leases, the New York-based ASF said in an e-mailed statement. Among its points, the organization said it argued in the letter that capital charges shouldn’t differ for financial companies in different areas.

“The securitization markets are important sources of capital for both consumers and businesses,” Tom Deutsch, the group’s executive director, said in the statement. “Bank capital requirements must be appropriate for the risks associated with securitization exposures.”

The body was roiled this month by the exodus of board members and companies including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG, Citigroup Inc. and law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, six people familiar with the matter said this month, asking not to be named because the dispute isn’t public.

The ASF said in its statement today that its members include more than “300 firms, including issuers, investors, servicers, financial intermediaries, rating agencies, financial guarantors, legal and accounting firms, and other professional organizations involved in securitization transactions.” In a January statement, the group said it had more than 330 members fitting a similar description.